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Congressional 
Research 
Service 




Nonproliferation and Threat Reduction 
Assistance: U.S. Programs in the Former 
Soviet Union 



Amy F. Woolf 

Specialist in Nuclear Weapons Policy 
July 31, 2009 



Congressional Research Service 

7-5700 

www.crs.gov 

RL31957 

CRS Report for Congress 

Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress 



Nonproliferation and Threat Reduction Assistance 



Summary 

Congress passed the Nunn-Lugar amendment, authorizing U.S. threat reduction assistance to the 
former Soviet Union, in November 1991, after a failed coup in Moscow and the disintegration of 
the Soviet Union raised concerns about the safety and security of Soviet nuclear weapons. The 
annual program has grown from $400 million in the DOD budget over $1 billion per year across 
three agencies — DOD, DOE, and the State Department. It has also evolved from an emergency 
response to impending chaos in the Soviet Union, to a more comprehensive threat reduction and 
nonproliferation effort, to a broader program seeking to keep nuclear, chemical, and biological 
weapons from leaking out of the former Soviet Union and into the hands of rogue nations or 
terrorist groups. 

The Department of Defense manages the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program, which 
provides Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan with assistance in transporting, storing, and 
dismantling nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. U.S. assistance has helped these nations 
eliminate the delivery systems for nuclear weapons under the START Treaty, secure weapons 
storage areas, construct a storage facility for nuclear materials removed from weapons, construct 
a destruction facility for chemical weapons, and secure biological weapons materials. 

The State Department manages the International Science and Technology Centers in Moscow and 
Kiev. These centers provide research grants to scientists and engineers so that they will not sell 
their knowledge to other nations or terrorist groups. The State Department has also provided 
assistance with export and border control programs in the former Soviet states. The Department 
of Energy manages programs that seek to improve the security of nuclear materials at civilian, 
naval, and nuclear weapons complex facilities. It also funds programs that help nuclear scientists 
and engineers find employment in commercial enterprises. DOE is also helping Russia dispose of 
plutonium removed from nuclear weapons and shut-down its remaining plutonium-producing 
reactors by replacing them with fossil-fuel plants. 

Analysts have debated numerous issues related to U.S. nonproliferation and threat reduction 
assistance. These include questions about the coordination of and priority given to these programs 
in the U.S. government, questions about Russia’s willingness to provide the United States with 
access to its weapons facilities, questions about the President’s ability to waive certification 
requirements so that the programs can go forward, and questions about the need to expand the 
efforts into a global program that receives funding from numerous nations and possibly extends 
assistance to others outside the former Soviet Union. 

This report will be updated as needed. 



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Contents 

Introduction 1 

Background 3 

The Nunn-Lugar Amendment 3 

A Slow Start 4 

An Evolving Program 5 

Department of Defense Cooperative Threat Reduction Program 6 

Program Objectives 6 

CTR Funding 9 

CTR Projects 11 

Chain of Custody 11 

Destruction and Dismantlement 15 

Demilitarization Progr ams 22 

State Department 23 

Global Threat Reduction (Formerly Nonproliferation of WMD Expertise) 24 

Export Control and Related Border Security Assistance 26 

Department of Energy 27 

International Nuclear Materials Protection and Cooperation 28 

MPC&A Funding 28 

MPC&A Projects 30 

Global Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention (Formerly Russian Transition 

Initiative) 37 

Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention 37 

Nuclear Cities Initiative (NCI) 38 

Elimination of Weapons-Grade Plutonium Production 39 

Fissile Materials Disposition 41 

Issues for Congress 43 

Organization and Coordination 43 

Strategic Plan 44 

Program Coordination 44 

Access and Transparency 46 

Liability Protections and the Umbrella Agreement 47 

Certifications and Waivers 48 

Funding and Focus of the Programs 51 

Funding 51 

Focus 52 

Globalization and International Cooperation 53 

The G-8 Global Partnership 53 

Extending CTR Beyond the Former Soviet Union 55 

Global Recognition of National Responsibility 57 

Tables 

Table 1. CTR Funding: Requests and Authorization 10 

Table 2. CTR Funding for Transportation Security 12 



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Table 3. CTR Funding for Fissile Materials Storage 15 

Table 4. CTR Funding for Strategic Offensive Arms Elimination (SOAE) 17 

Table 5. Appropriations for M.C.&A and Related Programs 36 

Contacts 

Author Contact Information 58 



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Introduction 

In the budget passed for FY2009, Congress authorized around $1.2 billion for U.S. programs that 
provide nonproliferation and threat reduction assistance to Russia and the other states of the 
former Soviet Union. 1 The Obama Administration has requested around $1.1 billion for these 
programs in its FY2010 budget — including $404.1 million for DOD’s Cooperative Threat 
Reduction (CTR) program, around $600 million for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) 
nonproliferation programs in Russia, and around $100 million for State Department 
nonproliferation programs in the former Soviet Union. 2 With these programs, the United States 
seeks to help the recipient nations transport, store, and eliminate nuclear, chemical and other 
weapons; secure and eliminate the materials used in nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons; 
and prevent proliferation of the knowledge needed to produce these weapons to nations or groups 
outside the former Soviet Union. Since FY1992, the United States has appropriated over $11 
billion across these three agencies for these programs. 3 

During his tenure, President Bush often voiced support for these programs. In November 2001, 
the White House noted that “The United States is committed to strong, effective cooperation with 
Russia and the other states emerging from the former Soviet Union to reduce weapons of mass 
destruction and prevent the proliferation of these weapons or the material and expertise to 
develop them.” 4 At the U.S. -Russian summit in May 2002, the United States and Russia pledged 
to “continue cooperative threat reduction programs and expand efforts to reduce weapons-usable 
fissile material.” 5 Furthermore, in June 2002, the President joined with the leaders of the G-8 
nations to create the G-8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of 
Mass Destruction. As is discussed in more detail later in this report, under this partnership, the 
United States committed to provide up to $10 billion over 10 years to pursue nonproliferation and 
threat reduction programs in Russia and the other former Soviet states. 

President Obama has also embraced the goals of these programs, and has pledged to accelerate 
them. According to Administration statements, he has pledged to “lead a global effort to secure all 
nuclear weapons materials at vulnerable sites within four years.” He has appointed a “White 
House Coordinator for Nuclear Security” who, as a deputy national security advisor, will 
coordinate all the U.S. thread reduction and nonproliferation programs. 6 In addition, President 
Obama and Russia’s President Medvedev signed a Joint Statement on nuclear cooperation during 



1 This includes $434. 1 million for the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program at the Department of Defense 
(DOD); around $680 million for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) nonproliferation programs in Russia and the other 
former Soviet states, and around $75 million for the portion of the State Department nonproliferation programs in the 
former Soviet Union. 

2 The DOE budget request for nonproliferation assistance programs totaled more than $800 million and the State 
Department budget in these areas totaled around $125 million, but both include funding for programs outside the 
former Soviet Union. 

3 The term “spent” in this statement refers to the amount of money appropriated for threat reduction and 
nonproliferation programs. The amount of money actually paid to contractors for the work covered by these programs 
is less than the appropriated amount because many projects take years to complete, and payments may occur years after 
the money is appropriated. 

4 The White House. Office of the Press Secretary Fact Sheet. U.S. Government Nonproliferation and Threat Reduction 
Assistance to the Russian Federation. November 13, 2001. 

5 The White House. Office of the Press Secretary. Text of Joint Declaration. May 24, 2002. 

6 See the White House website. The Agenda: Homeland Security, http://www.whitehouse.gov/agenda/ 
homeland_security/ 



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their summit meeting in Moscow in July, 2009. In that statement, they confirmed “their 
commitment to strengthening their cooperation to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.” 
The statement highlighted their continuing commitment to pursue a wide array of threat reduction 
and nonproliferation programs, to secure both their own nuclear materials and vulnerable nuclear 
materials around the world. 7 

Congress has also supported U.S. nonproliferation and threat reduction programs in the former 
Soviet states. Although some Members have questioned the value and effectiveness of some 
specific projects, Congress has authorized most of the funds requested by the Executive Branch in 
the years since these programs began. Congress has also helped shape the programs, prohibiting 
funding for some types of projects and providing added funding for others. 

Many analysts have questioned, however, whether the United States has done all that it could to 
prevent the leakage of knowledge, weapons, and materials from the former Soviet states. In its 
first budget submission in early 2001, the Bush Administration reduced funding for the DOD 
threat reduction programs by nearly 10% and cut more than $100 million out of DOE’s defense 
nuclear nonproliferation programs, a funding category that includes U.S. nonproliferation 
assistance to Russia. 8 The Administration increased funding for these programs in FY2003, 
FY2004, and FY2006, but its budget for FY2005 and FY2007 for the DOD threat reduction 
programs again showed a 10% decrease. Even with increases in DOE budgets, some analysts 
argue that, when combined with declines in the DOD budget, the funding falls short of what is 
needed to address the continuing dangers of proliferation from the former Soviet states. Further, 
they note that funding has begun to shift funding away from programs that secure weapons and 
materials in the former Soviet states and into programs that provide border security and assistance 
to a greater number of nations around the world. Consequently, they argue, if the funding level 
does not grow, the United States will not be able to accelerate the programs with the former 
Soviet Union to ensure that they effectively stop the proliferation of Russia’s weapons, materials, 
and knowledge. These concerns are evident in the congressional action on the FY2008 and 
FY2009 budgets, which increased several of the threat reduction and nonproliferation programs. 
Moreover, at issue in the debate over U.S. threat reduction and nonproliferation programs is not 
only the total amount of funding that the United States might commit to these programs in the 
former Soviet states, but also the priority and sense of urgency that the United States assigns to 
them. 

Many studies have offered recommendations for the size, shape, and operation of these programs 
that differ from the approaches taken by past Administrations. This report summarizes many 
issues raised in these reports and in Congressional debates on the future of U.S. nonproliferation 
and threat reduction assistance. However, it first reviews the history of these programs, describing 
their origins in 1991, their expansion and evolution during the 1990s, and the changes in their 
direction during the first two years of the Bush Administration. The report also provides a broad 
summary of many of the program areas and projects supported by U.S. funding. 

This report focuses on funding for threat reduction and nonproliferation programs in the states of 
the former Soviet Union. Although the United States has expanded its efforts to programs that 



7 The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, Joint Statement by President Barack Obama of the United States of 
America and President Dmitry Medvedev of the Russian Federation on Nuclear Cooperation , Moscow, July 6, 2009. 

8 Congress eventually restored the funding for DOE’s Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation programs and added $223 
million more in the FY2002 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations (P.L. 107-206) passed after the September 1 1, 
2001 attacks. 



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